Letters to the Editor

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BRIDGE: Another disaster for state government

Letter by Douglas C. Allen, Gig Harbor on May 24, 2013 at 9:10 am with No Comments »
May 24, 2013 11:19 am

So the Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River has collapsed. This event signals another expensive failure of a Washington state agency, one in a litany of failures over the past decade: Department of Corrections, DSHS, Transportation and others.

Something is wrong when so many costly failures (in millions of dollars and lives damaged or lost) keep occurring. Most recently WSDOT failed to properly design pontoons for the state Route 520 bridge. Why?

And there’s more: it’s time for Tim Eyman to go away. And time for the citizens of this state to realize that there is no free lunch. They need to approve sufficient revenues to build and maintain adequate infrastructure and to make our government efficient and effective. Without it, we will be non-competitors in an increasingly tough world.

There is a connection between underfunded government and poor performance by various agencies. Perhaps we citizens are not funding these critical functions well enough to attract and retain the high-quality people who perform the government’s business. It’s a sign of our times: we want it all but don’t want to pay for it. Of course we do end up paying for it, in the numerous multimillion-dollar lawsuit settlements that occur all too often.

Let’s get real. This state could do a lot better if the citizenry would demand quality and at the same time be willing to properly support their state government.

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